A Thanksgiving Prayer – Charles Moore

It is important to read this prayer through to the end, even if you find it uncomfortable at times.

A Thanksgiving Prayer – by Charles Moore

O Lord, how can I thank you for the bounty on my table
and the extras stuffed in my fridge,
when thousands of children still die every day of starvation?

for the comforts of my home,
when over 600,000 Americans are homeless?

for my health,
when millions of people can’t afford to see a doctor when sick or fill the prescriptions they need?

O Lord, how can I thank you for the work I have that pays the bills,
when so many are unemployed or don’t earn a living wage?

for a life free of calamities,
when earthquakes, floods, tsunamis, hurricanes, and fires ravage entire populations?

for the leisure time I spend reading for pleasure,
when nearly a billion people are unable to read a book or sign their name?

O Lord, how can I thank you for a life of peace,
when bullets fly in inner cities and schools, and
when drones, landmines, missiles, and sanctions stalk the lives of millions?

for this country of ours, so blessed and free,
when the soldiers who fought for it are killing themselves at a rate of 22 a day?

for the wonders of nature,
when half the people on this planet are stuck in cities?

O Lord, how can I thank you for my wife’s tender love,
when half the marriages around me will fall apart?

for my child’s smile,
when more than one in four children don’t even live with their fathers?

for my daughter’s happiness
when thousands of teenage girls are cutting or starving themselves in quiet desperation?

O Lord, how can I thank you for the freedom to go where I want, say what I think, and do what I like,
when up to 27 million people work as slaves or are trafficked for commercial sex exploitation every year?

for friends to love and who love me,
when every fifth person lives alone and has no more than one significant conversation every six months?

for giving me faith and hope, a reason to live,
when one in ten American adults reports they are depressed?

O Lord, how can I thank you for all the blessings you bestow,
unless I spend less on myself,
give more to others,
befriend the friendless,
help the helpless,
strengthen the weak,
lift up the downcast,
give faith to the faithless,
pray for the hopeless,
thank the thankless,
defend the defenseless,
embrace the rejected,
clothe the naked,
and feed the hungry?

O Lord, I do thank you,
for I have so much to thank you for.

But one thing I ask of you, and one thing only:
help me to thank you not just with heart and lips,
but by the very life I live.

From:  http://www.plough.com/en/articles/2013/november/a-thanksgiving-prayer

Come, ye thankful people, come – Henry Alford

Come, ye thankful people, come,
raise the song of harvest home;
all is safely gathered in,
ere the winter storms begin.
God our Maker doth provide
for our wants to be supplied;
come to God’s own temple, come,
raise the song of harvest home.

All the world is God’s own field,
fruit as praise to God we yield;
wheat and tares together sown
are to joy or sorrow grown;
first the blade and then the ear,
then the full corn shall appear;
Lord of harvest, grant that we
wholesome grain and pure may be.

For the Lord our God shall come,
and shall take the harvest home;
from the field shall in that day
all offenses purge away,
giving angels charge at last
in the fire the tares to cast;
but the fruitful ears to store
in the garner evermore.

Even so, Lord, quickly come,
bring thy final harvest home;
gather thou thy people in,
free from sorrow, free from sin,
there, forever purified,
in thy presence to abide;
come, with all thine angels, come,
raise the glorious harvest home.

United Methodist Hymnal, 1989; Author: Henry Alford